A mysterious freak explosion rocked a Rhode Island beach Saturday morning, injuring at least one woman as the violent beach explosion blew up through the sand and threw her through the air.
The Rhode Island beach explosion occurred on Salty Brine Beach forcing the beach to be evacuated as police and fire fighters scoured the scene for evidence to explain the explosion and any signs of additional dangers hidden on the beach, reports WPRI News 12.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, they received reports of the beach explosion at Salty Brine Beach Saturday morning around 11:15, which also included a woman being injured.
According to authorities, the 50 year-old woman was blown right off the beach by the explosion which packed enough punch to hurl the woman onto a rock jetty. Despite the violence of the beach explosion, the woman was reportedly "conscious and alert" when taken away by medical personnel.
The injured woman was taken to South County Hospital for treatment of injuries, the extent of which are not yet available.
While the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management called for the Rhode Island state fire marshal's office to send out a bomb technician, the source of the beach explosion that blew up through the sand and sent the woman flying remains uncertain.
As police and other officials continued to investigate and comb the closed Rhode Island beach, some witnesses to the beach explosion stepped up to report what they'd seen.
One of those was Mario Lewis of West Greenwich, Rhode Island, who told the Providence Journal he was crab fishing when he heard what he thought was an explosion near the rocks. The "boom" then apparently threw the woman his way, where she landed within about three feet of him.
"It was like an M-80 boom, like a grenade," said Lewis.
But what Lewis didn't see may ultimately be as useful to investigators as what he did see, Lewis reporting no smoke or other debris accompanying the "loud boom." According to Lewis, whatever exploded from the beach sounded like a "gas explosion," though Lewis admitted he had no way of knowing if some underground gas source really had anything to do with it.
According to the Daily Mail, police were hunting the area around Salty Brine Beach for a possible suspect that they think may have planted something beneath the sand.
Authorities are speculating that the suspect may have hidden the source of the beach explosion in the sand before disappearing toward Rogers Williams beach, said the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Sgt. Thomas Silvia.
With ongoing terrorist threats a reality and a possible suspect on the run, vigilance is high as investigation into the cause of the Rhode Island beach explosion continues.
[Image, via Twitter, @BrianL423]